A Mini Interview - Mikela Prevost questions Mikela Prevost

When my buds Juana Martinez-Neal, Molly Idle, Laura Jacobsen and I decided to do this blog tour, I never REALLY processed the thought that the questions I was dying to have answered by them would actually be imposed on myself.  So now as I read them, I'm somewhat taken aback and find my thoughts strolling down Memory Lane or more accurately Illustration Avenue.   So kick back, sip your grande, double, no-whip, pumpkin spiced latte or what overpriced drink that is nuzzled in your grasp and enjoy a peek into my career...thus far.

1. Once you decided illustration was the career for you, what were the first steps you took to achieving your goal?

Hmmmmm.... well, I was in working on my BA in Painting and Drawing at the University of Redlands and was really intrigued with the IDEA of illustration, so I went to lunch with my amazingly talented painting professor, John Brownfield, and asked him "So, like...what is like, illustration?" (Southern California, born and raised) and John proceeded to give a rather vague definition, but enough of a description to intrigue me, which led me to taking a children's book illustration class with Marla Frazee at Art Center in Pasadena.  Once I was in that class, it just clicked and I knew I wanted to tell stories in a visual form.

2. Put your pride aside for a moment and share some of your first mistakes starting out...

Gahhhhh.... one really embarrassing moment is when I was just starting to "get myself out there" and work on sending out samples.  I also researched names of some Art Directors I wanted to contact.  I was super super super nervous and I made my first cold call to some AD of one of the biggest publishing houses in the known world and I BLEW it.  It was SNL worthy of how badly I stumbled over my words and gave the wrong information.  What's the best (worst) is that it all was recorded on her voice mail so she could replay it as often and for whoever she liked for as long as she may live.

So, I guess the lesson today kids is, if you're going to make a cold call, practice first.  And maybe use a script.

3. How do you maintain a daily routine of writing/illustrating when it is so completely different from a day to day job?

This is my biggest struggle.  I have 3 kids and two of them are with me all day, so my "work day" really begins at 8pm.  I have noticed that trying to maintain momentum really is key, that once I finish a project I need to maintain that sense of urgency with my own self-imposed assignments.  It's really just discipline, dragging your tired body to the drafting table and pushing yourself to start something for you.

4. What is one thing that has helped you to get noticed in this sea of illustrators?

Being consistent with social networking.  I'm not even saying I'm great at it, but finding avenues that support your work and your news really helps to boost your ego and feel like your time is well spent.  I'm so thankful for sites like Illustration Mundo and Little Chimp Society that are great about spreading the word.  Other sites that require more participation like Illustration Friday and They Draw and Cook are great when you are lacking in the inspiration department.

5. What one piece of advice would you give to a young illustrator?

I guess that whole perspiration/inspiration saying is really true.  If you really aren't willing to put in the time and effort, your talent alone won't carry you.

Did you know that I'm rewarding one lucky reader with an original illustration?!  The original is a 7″ x 7″, watercolor, acrylic and collage illustration. The winner will be randomly chosen from all entries, and announced Monday November 14, 2011.

Ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment below
  • Follow me on Twitter @mikelaprevost and copy this retweet on your status: RT @mikelaprevost Enter to win an original illustration #giveaway